Slit date. Stuff as much high quality blue cheese into the date as you can fit. Squeeze together. Wrap with a half of a slice of bacon. Secure with a toothpick. Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes.
With party season upon us, add this to your file of must-do gotta-love recipes!
For those that subscribe to LifeinBetween.Me via email and view via mobile device: The video may not have played for you the first time, so I am reblogging with the video shared via YouTube. Hope it works for you. Cheers & Hugs, Jodi
Well Mama Cardinal finished shaking her tail feathers and building her nest, and is now growing her family!
Check out this little video that I cannot believe we captured:
And look what is in the nest now!
Houston – We have Eggs. Cardinal Eggs.
And an Early Bird Bird’s Eye View from our bedroom window. Can you believe it?!
So it looks like our sweet new neighbor’s family is growing…
And I hope to keep you updated. Can you imagine how wonderful it would be to capture some video or photos of the little hatched baby cardinals as they fledge?!
Oh the anticipation! Stay tuned.
And speaking of birds, I must share with you a beautifully-created artistic piece by one of my blogger friends, Jill from Jill’s Art Journal.
Jill and some others have made a pact and commitment to draw/create/paint and then post a new bird every day for a year.
And WOW, you wouldn’t believe how fun and exciting she makes it!
I fell instantly and totally in love with one of her drawings – a whimsical bird named Curly.
And I shamelessly begged to have it.
Jill was so very kind to oblige and send her to me! So all the way from the other side of the U.S. from Spokane, WA, Curly arrived this weekend in her full glory! Could you just die how cute she is?!?! Somehow, I feel she is a portrait of me. 🙂 Don’t ask me why?!
And not only did Jill send me the adorable Curly, but she put a sweet note in the package and added this beautiful handmade bookmark that featured a bird on one side….
… and a “Home Sweet Home” sentiment on the other side that Jill said she thought was just perfect for me! How sweet is that?!?!
Thank you so much, Jill! I am beyond thrilled and grateful.
And peeps, I so encourage you to check out her blog: Jill’s Art Journal. You will so enjoy her daily postings and her wildly creative talent!
So I’ll be on cardinal nest watch “in between” everything else going on around here.
Hope you are having as much fun…. at life in between. 🙂
I hope you had a nice weekend. We sure did! And there is so much to share… I’m certain it will take all week.
Our “Best Book Club Ever” started up again for this year, and Hubby got to choose the book and lead the discussion. He rocked it talking about one of his favorite real-life adventure books, “Touching the Void.”
It was so great to see friends we haven’t seen for a few months, spend time at one of our favorite places on earth with some of our favorite peeps – the hosts – my cousins Joyce and ‘Oh Rob,” and drink wine and share some good food and discussion.
Joyce is another one of my artistic mentors, so the poor thing hardly had a chance to open her eyes and have a sip or two of coffee Sunday morning…after a very late night…. before I started drilling her with watercolor questions. We sat in her studio for a couple hours yesterday morning (while the guys went out to breakfast) where she shared with me about the type of paper she uses, brushes and paints she likes, and a chest full of books she has used through the years for inspiration. My discouraged passion was re-ignited, and I wasn’t home long before I was perusing the books and mixing paints and at it again.
To top that off, we arrived home to find an amazing package in the mail from a fellow blogger – and artist extraordinaire – Jill Kuhn @ Jill’s Art Journal – with a special drawing in it that I fell in love with and an extra gift to boot (I’ll be sure to share soon!).
The sun was shining, the air was crisp, trees are budding, flowers are bursting open, and we thoroughly enjoyed our weekend.
I took about an hour to paint these two little paintings.
After reading through some of my newly-borrowed books and watching a YouTube video by Art TV, I did these two poppy watercolor paintings. The fun thing about these is that I did NOT sketch them ahead. Simply took water and paint to paper and created. It was quite liberating and enjoyable!
These will become thank you cards for a few special peeps I need to thank.
Imagine… moist chocolate cupcakes flavored with Coca-Cola… then filled with fudgy Jack Daniels whiskey flavored ganache… top that with sweet Jack Daniel’s flavored buttercream frosting… and add a gummy cola candy for good measure…
Jack & Coke Cupcakes
Yep – this is what I made last night for a special buddy we’ll be seeing today.
Jack & Coke Cupcakes
These Jack & Coke cupcakes are from a recipe I found a while back on stressbaking.com and modified a bit to my liking.
Jack & Coke Chocolate Cupcakes
1 12 oz can Coke (Not Diet Coke – you need the sugar in the original)
1 stick butter
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp Jack Daniels whiskey
6 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter
8 Tbsp Jack Daniels whiskey
2 tsp vanilla extract
18 gummy cola bottles (only if you want them to be extra cute)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line 18 cupcake cups with paper or aluminum liners.
Combine Coke and butter in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add cocoa powder, sugar, brown sugar and whisk until sugars are dissolved and mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add cooled cocoa mixture. Stir to combine. Add flour mixture and stir until just combined.
Pour batter into cupcake liners to 3/4 cup full. Bake 15 mins. until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. Transfer cupcakes to wire rack to cool completely.
While cupcakes are cooling, prepare ganache by melting chocolate chips, cream, butter and Jack Daniels in a small saucepan on low-medium heat. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat, and let cool completely (you can even stick in the freezer to quick cool it).
Cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes with an apple corer, and pipe ganache into the holes in each cupcake.
Prepare frosting in electric mixer by combining butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and Jack Daniels. Pipe onto cupcakes as simple or fancy as you like and top with a gummy cola bottle to make it extra cute.
Enjoy! And remember don’t eat Jack & Coke Cupcakes and drive! 🙂
Momma Cardinal has been working for days right outside of our bedroom window in the rhododendron bush building this beautiful new home.
It is sure to add value to the neighborhood! Don’t you think?
I have never been more fascinated watching such diligence and perseverance as she flies in one tiny stick at a time, places it on the pile, then shakes her tail feathers to form the “cup” shape.
The new home has been under construction for about three days now. I cannot believe our good fortune to have such a view of this little miracle of nature. I can’t wait to see the eggs and then baby cardinals! Can you imagine how awesome that will be to watch!?!
According to Wikipedia, cardinals mate for life and stay together year-round. Isn’t that romantic?! Mated pairs sometimes sing together before nesting. During courtship they may also participate in a bonding behavior where the male collects food and brings it to the female, feeding her beak-to-beak. If the mating is successful, this mate-feeding may continue throughout the period of incubation.
The nest typically takes three to nine days to build, and cardinals do not usually use their nests more than once. The eggs are laid one to six days following the completion of the nest. Three or four eggs are laid in eachclutch. The female generally incubatesthe eggs, which takes 12 to 13 days.And then, the young cardinals fledge10 to 11 days after hatching.
Camera and tripod are set up, and I’ve taken about 50 kabillion photos already.
I love this one of her shakin’ her little tail feathers and looking at me while she prepares to nest.
(Will we ever, ever, ever, get that famous jingle out of our heads??!! Such genius in marketing and advertising!)
Well – look no further – Here’s the Beef!
We indulge in beef for dinner about once a week; and when we do, grilled marinated London broil is one of our faves.
The key to a great London Broil is in the marinade. And the key to a great marinade is fresh ingredients.
A few must-haves in the pantry AT ALL TIMES for me are fresh garlic (powder, granulated, chopped in water, chopped in oil… NONE compare to freshly minced garlic), fresh basil (I wish there were words to describe the smell of fresh basil being chopped! I’m sighing just trying to imagine), and fresh lemons for juicing (no bottled, reconstituted versions can be substituted!).
Bottled pantry must-haves in my pantry include: olive oil, balsalmic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, Dijon mustard – all of which are included in this recipe.
Dried spices that are must-haves (to be used only when fresh is not at hand) include oregano and thyme.
Before putting this marinade on the London broil, it is a good idea to cut vertical and diagonal slits in the beef to allow the marinade to soak in deeper.
This marinade should be able to be whipped up quickly if your pantry has these items on hand at all times. Marinades not only add flavor, but they tenderize.
I enjoy my “hunk of beef” with a baked potato topped with salsa and a fresh green salad.
And a sprinkling of blue cheese doesn’t hurt either!
In a bowl, whisk together marinade ingredients. Put London broil in a large resealable plastic bag or in a glass dish and pour marinade over it. Seal tightly. Marinate in refrigerator turning once or twice, for approximately 8 hours.
Remove meat from the marinade, and discarded the marinade.
Grill the meat, turning only once, 9 to 10 minutes on each side, or until it registers 125 to 130 degrees, on a meat thermometer for medium-rare meat. (Alternatively, meat may be broiled.)
Transfer meat to a cutting board and let stand 10 minutes. Cut meat diagonally across the grain into thin slices, and enjoy!